Environmental group Greenpeace on Thursday said it has filed a complaint against Suncor Energy SU-T with the Alberta Securities Commission (ASC), arguing that Canada’s second-largest oil producer is failing to fully disclose climate-related risks to shareholders.
The complaint alleges Suncor removed warnings that oil sands projects could potentially become stranded assets in a low-carbon emissions scenario from its 2023 climate report.
“Suncor has stopped warning investors of the risk that a significant slice of its oil sands assets will be worthless in a low carbon future,” said Keith Stewart, senior energy strategist for Greenpeace Canada. “Deleting information about stranded assets doesn’t make that risk go away.”
Suncor posts annual climate reports on its company website.
In the 2022 report, under the heading “Expected impact on Suncor,” the company said some producing upstream assets “may be retired before the end of their producing life” in the most ambitious global emissions-reduction scenario.
In the 2023 report, Suncor does not have an “Expected impact on Suncor” section in the low-carbon scenario. However the company notes massive changes to the global energy system would come at enormous cost “where people, companies, infrastructure and whole industries are made redundant.”
Suncor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In Canada, it is still voluntary for companies to make climate-risk disclosures. The Liberal government said in 2022 it would mandate companies to report climate-related financial risks, but regulations have not yet been finalized.
In 2016, Suncor shareholders voted overwhelmingly in favour of the company providing more information about its exposure to climate change.
In a reply to Greenpeace, the ASC said it would review the concerns.
Calgary-based Suncor is counting on carbon capture and storage and efficiency measures to help reach its net-zero emissions by 2050 goal and last year sold its wind and solar business to focus instead on hydrogen and renewable fuels.
CEO Rich Kruger, who took over in April, told an August earnings call Suncor had put a “disproportionate emphasis” on the longer-term energy transition.
Greenpeace is asking the ASC to investigate whether Suncor failed to adequately disclose climate-related transition risks associated with the recent shift in its business strategy, and order the company to reinstate those disclosures.